Your West Coast Homestay Hosts

Your hosts Alastair and Shirley both come from rural backgrounds.

After leaving school Alastair studied for a Dipolma in Agriculture at Lincoln University, Christchurch. He then went on to work on a dairy farm at Te Puke, in the Bay of Plenty, before returning to the family sheep and cattle farm near Fairlie, South Canterbury in 1974. Alastair purchased the farm in 1977 and continued to farm sheep and cattle until he sold the farm in April 2008. Over the years Alastair was involved in several organisations including Young Farmers, Federated Farmers and the Local A&P Show Society. He also has enjoyed many a round of Golf.

Shirley on the other hand was raised on a market garden property in the Bay of Plenty, before going to live in Australia with her young family in 1976 and returning to New Zealand with two of her four children to live in 1997 after being widowed. She likes drawing, most crafts, cooking, and loves the bush. She met Alastair in 1998 and they married in 1999. It was while looking around the South Island for a home that they discovered Oak Lodge their West Coast Bed and Breakfast. Alastair and Shirley have 15 grandchildren and they both enjoy every minute of being grandparents.

Animals to meet at this West Coast homestay is a heading dog named Ben.  Ben  is not kept in the house yard but  kenneled outside and is a working dog, he came from the farm with us.

There are five rare Arapawa sheep. Arapawa sheep come from Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds and have been there for approx 130 years. Exact origins are not known but thought to originally be of English Merino stock, perhaps coming through Australia. They have very fine, soft fleeces ideal for spinning and knitting. The flock at Oak Lodge Homestay also includes Romney ewes, and a few "blackface" ewes ( Romney/ South Suffolk cross).

Feeding Sheep

Alistair and Shirley

Alistair with Dog

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